Two Solidarity Projects Win 2017 ICUSTA Contest

December 2017


The five universities that were awarded the ICUSTA Solidarity Fund have received this news with great joy. As a great innovation, this year the contest demanded that in the submitted projects, at least two institutions member of the network should take part in social voluntary work for the benefit of a community in need. Thus, the goal was to promote the joint work among students and teachers from various universities of ICUSTA at service of those in need.

The “Gerardo Rocha Global Solidarity Fund” (GRGSF) was created by the General Assembly of Delegates of ICUSTA during the tenth biennial meeting carried out in Manila, 2011. Thanks to the special contributions made by the Angelicum Foundation, this fund has been in effect and since then it has financed several of our members’ projects, encouraging cooperation among them.

This time, a dozen institutions participated in the 2017 application process. Though all the projects that were able to qualify were very well evaluated, only two could be chosen. These will receive ten thousand dollars each in order to support the implementation of the voluntary work proposed.

One of the selected projects is “Weaving networks in Makeni, Sierra Leone: Inter-university volunteer work”. This CEU San Pablo of Madrid and Cardenal Herrera of Valencia universities project will focus on the improvement of a neighborhood in the city of Makeni (Sierra Leone, Africa) by means of three complementary levels of action: analysis and detection of priorities in the neighborhood (through mapping, data collection and population surveys); study of hand-made knitting for developing craft activity; and social actions with children and young people.

Rosa Visiedo, Vice-Rector of the U. Cardenal Herrera, stated: “We are satisfied and proud of this award, a prize that encourages us to keep working along these lines in the future”. Antonio Calvo, Rector of the U. San Pablo, as he expressed his gratitude for the awarded project, added: “This is a great satisfaction, but also a huge responsibility, so we will seek to meet since the beginning the high expectations raised”.

The other awarded project, “Participation in Universidad Santo Tomás Chile Voluntary Work, winter 2018”, was presented by Universities Católica de Avila, Católica de Valencia and Santo Tomás Chile. These three institutions will care for the needs of Chilean communities through construction work, such as social housing lining, cleaning and repairing of community spaces, installing playing facilities for children, painting schools, etc. In addition, other community service actions will be carried out, such as games for children, ridding domestic animals of parasites, talks on ethical issues and support to local Catholic communities.

Juan Carlos Valderrama, Vice-Rector of Institutional Relations of the U. Católica de Valencia, along with expressing his joy at the selection of the Project, said: “I am sure this project will be very enriching for everyone, especially for those who will receive these benefits and for the volunteering”. Similarly, the Vice Dean for Health Sciences of the U. Católica de Avila, Mercedes Sánchez, added: “Without a doubt, this financial aid will help to increase the number of Spanish students who can participate in this project, which promises to be of great interest”. Likewise, Roberto Lafontaine Director of International Projects of the U. Santo Tomás Chile, stated: “I am sure that this joint project will be very fruitful and important for our students and for the community they will work with”.